Best Places to Run in Omaha

Spring is around the corner, which means sunshine and warmer weather is coming. It’s time to dust off those running shoes and hit the trails, but choosing where to run can be a tough choice. Luckily, bRUNch5k Co-Chair Emily Anderson is an avid runner who’s willing to share her favorite spots around town to log some miles.

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Lake Zorinsky

 Although we’re not the Land of 10,000 lakes, Omaha is lucky that it has a handful of great options to run around. Lake Zorinsky is my favorite for several reasons: 

  • It’s comprised of two lakes separated by a reservoir, the smaller side slightly over three miles and the other side more than four miles (according to my Nike Plus). If I want to turn the four into a five or six-mile run, I’ve figured out some out and backs to make that side even longer.
  • You can combine both sides of the lake for a longer workout. 
  • Not completely flat, but not a hilly route by any means, the lake is always populated and the scenery is incredible. 
  • Deer, turkeys and some of the most breathtaking views that make me feel like I’m not in the middle of West Omaha.

Track Workouts:

 Running at a track is one of my go-tos when it comes to short, or long runs. When I was training for my first marathon I did a majority of my weekday runs at various tracks in Omaha. 

  • I like that most tracks in town have cameras for safety.
  • Tracks are well lit in the evenings and it’s rare that I’m the only person running. 
  • NO HILLS and a built in place to store and keep an eye on your water/Gatorade and anything else you may bring with you.
  • “Cons” for a track workout? It’s the least scenic and least interesting route… you’re running in circles around an AstroTurf or grass rectangle.

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Road Routes/Trails:

 I’m most likely to run a three to five-mile road route over my lunch hour. I try to push myself because I know I have limited time… and find routes that are challenging by adding hills so I can work on my inclines, finding routes that I’ve never tried (which works on my memory), and adding in anaerobic bursts to work on speed.  If I’m running on a trail (I love the West Papio Trail and the Big Papio Trail), it’s after work or during the day on the weekend.  It’s rare that I go on a  trail run with a distance in mind… I like that I can do an out and back… so I just turn around when my body (or mind) tells me that I’m halfway done whether that’s one mile or eight miles in. I do find it challenging (for the longer) distances to stay as hydrated as I would on the aforementioned track workout.

 No matter the route, the distance or the location, I try to go with some sort of a plan in mind. I like that it’s just me and my music, that I’m competing against my last best time, and that running is completely free. Finally, I also let someone know where I’m running and how long I plan to run. 

What are you favorite places to run in Omaha?   What do you run for?

The 2nd annual bRUNch5k will be held on April 29, 2017, at Midtown Crossing. Sign up online to register for the run/walk and brunch! 

Not a runner? Brunch-only tickets are available too!

Ladies Who bRUNch

The Junior League of Omaha is hosting a new fundraiser this year and planning committee members are passionate. This April, the League will host a 5K fun run that combines two events that League members just love: running and brunching. The concept is pretty simple, really: run 3.1 miles, eat brunch, support the League’s child-minded community projects. And everyone’s invited. We asked the committee members what keeps them running.

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Lisa Tronchetti will tell you she is an indoor runner. She remembers doing a 5K before, but lately she hasn’t made it past the one mile mark. Even though her distance has shortened, she keeps plugging away, because she has motivation. “I run to stay healthy and prevent Type II Diabetes,” she says. “Type II Diabetes is common for women in my family as they grow older and my hope is that by living a healthy lifestyle NOW with a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule that includes a little running, I will greatly delay or prevent any onset of Type II Diabetes in my own health,” Lisa says. When the Junior League of Omaha announced a 5K run this spring, Lisa saw an opportunity to volunteer and get back on a training regimen. “I’m in my favorite Athleta pants and listening to the second season of Serial while I train,” she says. 

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It took Stacey Sellers a little time to warm up to the idea of loving a run. “I started running in middle school when I started cheer and dance, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started to enjoy it,” she says. “Living in Charleston, SC at the time, the scenery and weather were perfect; and running outside was a must!” Stacey runs for enjoyment, opting out of a music playlist, no formal training program and no set distances. There is one thing she does commit to, a lacrosse ball she uses to massage her muscles after good run. 

Colby Jensen prefers to run with a crew. “When I run with friends, we talk about our days, what’s new in our lives, etc. so no music is needed,” she says. Her friends and the training program she found with a quick Google search keep her focused when training for half marathons. “I train with friends to hold myself accountable and make the longer runs seem easier,” she says. But when no one is around, she’ll crank up a good Pandora station Jock Jams, Pop & Hip Hop Power Workout, 2000s Hip Hop – to name a few. Her Nike+ training app keeps her motivated when she runs on her own.

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

 

Lauren Hellman might just go crazy if she doesn’t hit the pavement. She takes all her frustrations and stress of the day out on the wide open road. Often she will bring her dog along for company. She uses this time to catch up on her favorite podcasts. When weather forces Lauren to run on a treadmill, she might deviate slightly from the podcasts and opt for some Taylor Swift. “My favorite item to have on a run with me is a great pair for shoes,” she says. Typically she gets her shoes from Altra Running. But she recently picked up a pair from Skora Running. “They may become my new favorite,” Lauren says. 

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

No matter what your running style- or even if you’re not a runner- Lauren, Colby, Stacy and Lisa agree that there’s a place for you at the April 16 bRUNch 5K. Families are welcome to bring their kids for a 1K fun walk around Turner Park and if you’re not up for racing, you can purchase a ticket to the after-run brunch. Registration information is now available on jlomaha.org. We can’t wait to see you there!